Stricklen pleads guilty to sexual assault

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ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – What started as a cold case murder back in 1989 ended with a sexual assault conviction Friday in Ector County.

Thompson Stricklen pleaded guilty Friday to sexual assault, according to the Ector County DA’s Office. Last year, Stricklen was tried on a murder charge stemming from the 1989 murder of Wendy Burdette.

Ultimately, that ended with a mistrial, according to a release. However, the DA’s office says the state was preparing to re-examine and retry the case when the lead detective for the Odessa Police Department was fired for policy violations and dishonesty.

“This action taken against the main witness in the case undermined the credibility of the evidence and made it impossible to retry,” a statement from the DA’s office reads.

Thus, the State continued only with the sexual assault charged. Stricklen pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to four years in prison, according to the release.

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